ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Oak Springs/refunds

Re: Oak Springs/refunds

Terry Woolley Howe (cancer@inetworld.net)
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 10:26:06 -0800

C.M.Newell wrote:
> I only recently resubscribed, so I seem to have come in in the middle of
> this, but IMHO, if you are a no-show at a ride, you should eat the entry
> fee. *Not* the ride management.
> In more detail--*if* you notify ride management before closing date for
> entries, or early enough that they can fill your spot from any waiting
> list there may be, then you should be entitled to a refund minus an
> administrative fee. If you don't notify them early enough, or if they don't
> fill your spot, well, that's life.

I agree that it is difficult for ride management when riders do not show
and do not call. At the Manzanita Ride, with the threat of Hurricane
Dora, we had 20 riders cancel or not show. Three riders jack knifed
their truck on the way--they did not notify me before the ride that they
were going to do that--should they not have been given a refund? Many
riders could not get out of their drive way because of the mud on that
Friday. The ride manager is already at basecamp, so will only get
notification if they call their answering machine. Notifying ride
management the day before the ride is a courtesy, but it will not change
the outcome of expenditures. Food is normally ordered and/or purchased
days before that. Normally the number of awards purchased are a WAG
(wild-assed guess) and are done weeks before the ride, so whether you
have 100 sign up two weeks before the ride and 50 cancel, is no
different than only having 50 sign up.

My opinion that riders should get a refund if they don't ride is for
planning purposes (for the next ride). If riders are not assured that
they will get a refund if they have to cancel, then they will not
pre-register well enough in advance so that you CAN do some planning and
they will simple show up at the ride. For me it would be more of a
disaster to have more riders than you expected and were prepared for,
than it would be to have extra food left over because some cancelled. I
do not mean to say that I don't want riders who have not signed up ahead
of time to not come, because those last minute entries are assessed a
$10 late fee, and I rely on some of those to defray expenses. But if
the majority of the riders did, that how could you plan? I assume that
riders sign up because they want to ride and cancel because their horse
is lame, truck is sick, or a personal problem comes up that takes
priority. And yes, there are some who will not show up because the
weather is bad.

> Most rides are not big money making projects. They often run on a
> shoestring, and some get cancelled if they don't fill.

I don't know of any rides that are ever cancelled because they don't
fill. Most rides don't ever fill. In fact, I don't think you can
cancel a ride for that reason. Unless an outside force (forest service,
etc.) shuts you down, or it is a safety reason (trail washed out), I
don't think you can cancel the ride. That would not be fair to those
who took off work and travelled to do the ride.

To give the
> management advance notice that you *will* be there, so they go ahead and
> plan to hold a ride, hire vets, a porta-john, order food, awards, etc. is
> not fair. If you're not sure you're going to go, then you shouldn't
> pre-enter. Take your chances on being able to post-enter on short notice.
> Don't expect ride management to take the financial risk.

If too many riders just show up to take their chances, that also puts a
burden on ride management because all of a sudden that impacts the whole
ride -- not enough vets, not enough water, not enough food, etc.

Just my perspective.

Terry Woolley Howe
San Diego

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